Feb. 09, 2024

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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2024-25 Budget Process Underway

The 2024-25 state budget process is underway this week as Gov. Josh Shapiro delivered his budget address before a joint session of the General Assembly on Tuesday.

His $48.34 billion proposal represents an increase of $3.7 billion, or 8.4%, over the current year’s spending. It relies on a portion of the state’s reserve funds to balance and would also rely heavily on the state’s savings accounts within the next 3-4 years.

There are initiatives in the budget proposal I support, like making Pennsylvania more competitive for businesses, making post-secondary education and childcare more affordable and increasing our pre-kindergarten program offerings, but the increased spending levels year over year are not sustainable and would likely require tax increases in the next several years.

At a time when inflation continues to hurt hardworking Pennsylvanians as the costs of goods and services rise, we need to work toward a budget that avoids tax hikes and spends taxpayer dollars responsibly. I’m concerned that such a drastic spending increase will have an adverse impact on Pennsylvania’s long-term economic health, and I’m eager to work with my colleagues to arrive at a budget product that is more fiscally sound.

The budget address is just the first step in the annual state budget process. The House and Senate Appropriations committees will each conduct hearings taking a closer look at the details of the plan. I look forward to participating in the House hearings beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 20, with the Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Department of Revenue. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I remain committed to advocating for you and arriving at a responsible budget for Pennsylvania’s future. 
Introducing the 87th District Spotlight!

I’m excited to highlight just a few of the many hard-working farmers and business owners who contribute to our local economy in my upcoming 87th District Spotlight video series. Be sure to follow along with me, as in the coming weeks, I will be sharing a behind-the-scenes look at some of the awesome people and places right here in the 87th District.

Click on the video below for a preview of what’s to come.

Click here to view video.
Mechanicsburg Student Earns AHG Stars and Stripes Award

This week I was pleased to present Rebecca Woodruff a House citation to congratulate her on earning the American Heritage Girls (AHG) Stars and Stripes Award, the organization’s highest honor, upon completion of her recent project.

Rebecca is a senior at Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School and recently completed a tiered garden project requiring over 350 hours of work. Rebecca has spent years completing service projects and volunteering for AHG and has participated in programs relating to the American flag, money management, the Constitution and dozens more. Congratulations, Rebecca, and thank you for all your community service!

Mark Your Calendar for My Upcoming Events

Dedication of the Jerome Guise Memorial Bridge


Toast with Thomas

FEMA Invites Applications for Firefighter Grants

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the opening of its Fiscal Year 2023 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, which will award $324 million to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters nationwide against fire-related deaths and hazards.

Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting both the public and emergency personnel.
Applications are due by Friday, March 8. More information about the grant program is available here.
FAFSA Workshop for College Students, Parents

To sign up for this free workshop, please click here. 

House Archives Internship Opportunity

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Archives Internship Program is currently accepting applications for the summer 2024 semester.

The 13-week internship is based at the Pennsylvania State Capitol and focuses on teaching archival processes and procedures. Interns also learn techniques for preparing and installing museum displays while working on rotating exhibits in the Capitol Complex. This full-time internship is in-person only and pays $12/hour.

At the time of the internship, students must be attending a college or university in Pennsylvania OR be a resident of Pennsylvania; be a second-semester junior, senior or graduate student; and have a GPA of at least 3.0.

For more information or to fill out the application, click here. Applications are due by Friday, March 1.